By Shmuel Binder
As of late July, New Jersey’s Lead Safe Certification law targeting all pre-1978 rental properties requires visual lead inspection, dust wipes, or both on all non-exempt rental properties depending on where in the state property is.
All Ocean County municipalities will suffice with a visual inspection, except Eagleswood and Little Egg Harbor, which will require dust sampling. To find out about other areas of New Jersey, you can review the official DCA map, which lists the local requirements for municipalities statewide. The testing obligation comes into play anytime new tenants are moving in.
The state committed $170 million to remove lead paint from thousands of older homes. There are an estimated 250,000 lead-contaminated homes in New Jersey.
Homes rented less than six months a year or that were certified as lead paint free will not be required to recertify again. You are also exempt if you have an existing valid lead-safe certificate.
The lead paint test must be performed by either a New Jersey Department of Community Affairs certified lead evaluation contractor or a New Jersey Department of Health licensed individual lead contractor.
Municipalities and landlords are actually in the same boat on this one.
The state can impose a fine of up to $1000 a week if a lead violation complaint is filed against a municipality by the Commissioner or the DCA.
Similarly, municipalities can fine individual owners the same amount. There is a 30-day grace period from the date of filing to cure the lead.